So the Scottish Cup appears back on the table once again, with John Kennedy being provided with a huge opportunity to win something for Celtic.
As if there weren’t enough comparisons to Neil Lennon’s 2010 interim spell. When Kennedy took charge, the similarities were striking. Both men took over the club at a period of crisis as we sat way behind our rivals and embarrassed in the Europa League.
Eerily, both men also started with eight games to play for the remainder of the league campaign.
Of course, that’s where fans will now want the similarities to stop. Lennon would win all eight league matches and secure the job on a permanent basis. The vast majority of Celtic fans want to believe that there’s absolutely no route that could lead to Kennedy being offered the same this summer.
But with today’s announcement from the SFA that the Scottish Cup will resume, John will get the chance to do something his predecessor couldn’t manage – win the cup during his first interim spell.
Of course, Lennon did have another spell as caretaker manager back in 2019. However, he was a lot more experienced that time around than he was nine years previous. Kennedy is going through the same thing Neil did all those years ago.
There have been no dates set on when the competition will resume. But it looks a near certainty to be completed this season. Especially given we still have several months of the season remaining.
Scottish Cup success will bolster John Kennedy’s prospects after Celtic spell
This is bigger than it may seem at first glance for Kennedy. He has a golden chance here to secure a trophy within his first few months of being a manager.
If he manages to do so, it’ll boost his job prospects for the summer hugely should he decide to move on. Because if the Scottish Cup is won it’ll be colossal for his reputation. He will have already answered that old cynical question put to managers who haven’t won anything – “What have they done?”.
One of the key reasons Lennon has walked into jobs at Bolton, Hibs, and then Celtic again is because he was a proven winner. That’s not something we can take away from the former manager. He had proven he could get over the line before. It was the Scottish Cup success of 2011 which allowed Lennon to make that first step.
But his failure to secure it in 2010 will have haunted him for a short period. That semi-final defeat to Ross County at Hampden was one of the most embarrassing days we’ve had as a football club [BBC].
If Kennedy can win all eight games and secure the Scottish Cup, that will be an incredible feat. In fact, it likely wouldn’t be given the praise it deserves. Not that he should stay should it happen of course. Celtic still need more experienced leadership next season.
But he can expect a line of clubs interested in his services next season if he bags the Hoops a cup in what’s been a miserable season.